U.S. Rep. Mike Simpson is another Republican with no use for the Republicans' "loyalty oath."
The 12-year congressman, running for a seventh term in November, criticized the oath, approved at the state GOP convention two weeks ago. The oath requires all GOP candidates to endorse the party's platform in full, or publicly state their areas of disagreement.
"I take one oath, and that's to support and defend the Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic, period," Simpson told the Statesman editorial board this morning.
During their convention, Republicans also favored language that would urge the state to withhold tax payments to the federal government; language to allow Idahoans to pay taxes in gold and silver; a plank favoring the repeal of the 17th Amendment, which allows voters to elect their U.S. senators; and language opposing Simpson's top legislative priority, the Boulder-White Clouds wilderness bill.
Conventions typically reflect the will of a party's activists, Simpson said, and the GOP gathering was no exception. But he said the GOP platform gives Democratic candidates an opening to criticize Republican opponents, in the same way that Republicans would mine the Democrats' platform.
"You're putting more bullets in the gun with some of the resolutions that were passed," Simpson said.